Independence Day is next week

The City of California will join the rest of the United States in celebration of Independence Day next week.

Thursday, July 4, marks the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and California will celebrate the day recognized as the founding of the nation beginning with a parade at 10 a.m. and finish the day with a fireworks display beginning at dusk.

The parade, sponsored by Masonic Lodge 183, will line up beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Smith Street near Cargill. It will begin at 10 a.m., proceed west to Oak Street, then north to South Street, one block east and then north on High Street to the Courthouse Square and will end at the fairgrounds.

After the parade, the California Historic District organization will sponsor, for children 12 and under, games on the Courthouse lawn. The games will include a watermelon eating contest, ring toss, duck pond, water balloon toss and others.

The City of California will host a free swim day at the municipal pool from 1 to 7 p.m. The California Historic District will give out free hotdogs and water at the pool from 12:45 p.m. until they run out.

The fireworks display at Proctor Park, sponsored by the City of California, will begin at dusk. In case of inclement weather, the fireworks display will be Friday, July 5, at dusk.

A celebration will also take place at High Point, at Albert Jobe Ball Field, sponsored by High Point Community Renewal Association. Food service will begin at 6 p.m. with hamburgers, brats, hot dogs, ice cream and watermelon. The Veteran's Memorial will be dedicated at 8 p.m. Fireworks will start at dark.

American Independence Day commemorates July 4, 1776, the day Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence.

According to historical records, John Adams wrote about Independence Day in a letter to his wife Abigail, "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

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